Archive for April 27th, 2010

Misunderstanding

Have been reading Scott Mcknight’s book – the blue parakeet. Great stuff. And even better following on from forum in MCC where we talked about scripture and the authority of GOD.

I have spent most of my life with a fairly straightforward version of understanding the Bible and it’s authority. Like most things in life I have realised that they are, if nothing else, a little more complicated that I first thought.

Belief, faith, love, everything I perhaps previously understood has become a little bit more complex with time.

I am not a biblical literalist. I don’t think I ever was, for a period I think I was meant to be, but I never when I think back actually believed it. A bit like discussions of women in ministry –  I knew the oft-quoted verses against women in ministry but was never entirely comfortable with the conclusions that people seemed to so effortless derive from them.

People like Scott McKnight, Tom Wright, CS Lewis, Lesslie Newbigin, Kurt Vonnegut, John Steinbeck and even people like Jaybercrow, Zoomtard, Soapbox, SmallCorner & Transfarmer (even when I didn’t really know any of them) have all helped me to grasp understanding of what the Bible is and does and how I relate to it.

Some of these understandings (mainly in the negative) are as follows:

  1. Scripture does not form the 4th person of the (now inaccurately named) trinity, squeezing in at the back, and pushing the Spirit out of the picture a bit. I/We have a tendency to divinise the word of GOD (as much as we divinise the puny, pigmy idol of a god we often worship) and make it more than perhaps it claims to be.
  2. Even the biblical literalists have been “picking and choosing” for as long as there have been biblical literalists so it’s not a question of whether we pick and choose (to use a cynical term) but how we do it
  3. The Bible is not a textbook, nor a rule book, nor an instruction manual. All of these metaphors fail to do justice
  4. Just because things happen in the Bible one way does not mean that is the way things are meant to be. From Genesis 3 onwards everything is broken until JESUS until we know how things will be fixed – even if they are not yet. So just because women are oppressed and suffer injustice throughout the Bible does not mean that that is GOD’s pattern for the new creation

I wouldn’t want to suggest that I have now arrived at some higher plane where the complexities of scripture are summarised in a sound byte. This is not an attempt at spiritual superiority more like honesty.

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Don’t change your plans

Let me see. Where was/am I?

This is the plan.

In the next few months I get married to this idiot ball and chain sucking parasitic drag on my life light of my life.

That’ll be fun for starters. Let me say this and be clear – I have thoroughly enjoyed planning and organising our wedding. I mean that. You’re always told how stressful and horrible it is but it isn’t – at least ours isn’t. It’s been fun and cool to see it all come together.

Some of you will be getting an invite soon. I think the invites alone are worth getting married for but that’s just me.

We’ve planned a kick ass honeymoon except this guy has gone and made a TV show about it and given away the secret. And even has the dog I want.

Being a big fan of consumerist, western traditions I’m having a “stag do”. By which I mean we’ll form a canoe flotilla to Coney Island for a night for a BBQ and sit round a fire. I hope to retain both eyebrows. If you’d like to come let me know though I’m afraid testicles are probably a requirement.

[Incidentally me and transfarmer were there yesterday checking up on the place. It is still wonderful though feeling the effects of the biggest freeze in a long time followed by flooding. Peter (the wonderful warden who lives on the island, whose broken arm I fixes one nnight with my magical healing powers) has his work cut out just reclaiming the paths from the island.

Walking around the place feels a bit like the set of Lost. I’m waiting for polar bears and smoke mosnters and off shacks with shadowy old men in them to appear from the trees… here wait a minute…]

I have quit my job here, where I have worked on and off for 10 years (I started as a cleaner on weekends in the ED there and now I’m a doctor in the ED there. While the doctoring certainly pays better I pine on occasion for a floor buffer and a night shift…) give or take a few detours to NZ or looking after Da.

I will miss this place. I will miss these people. I will even miss not getting home till 2am and the not sleeping and worrying about the patients.

I love my current job in man ways – as much as it drives me batty. I think I am really quite good at it most of the time – though I could be a hell of a lot better. I even dare to use the words “call” and “vocation” in association with it.

But seeing as most patients I see end up dead shortly after I see them I figured I may just cut out the middle man (which may actually be me…) and just deal with dead people. So I have got a job here for a year in where I’ll be working with medical (and other professions) students doing cadaveric dissection (though I might wear gloves). And they even pay me.

I will work during term time and between 9 and 5. This will be a new experience for me. I currently only work 40 hours a week so I’m not normally mad busy but I do work a lot of evenings and weekends.

We will be living here home of – debo, clairebo, zoomtard, mitchelinman, and I finally endeavour to become a member of the Presbyterian Church of Ireland, finally overcoming my own procrastination on the issue of membership.

We both have jobs for a year. We have no real plan beyond that. I have never really had a plan beyond a year so I suppose that’s nothing new.

I suppose this is all a bit of a change really. Exciting but perhaps somewhat unknown. I am neither scared nor apprehensive. I rather feel I should be.


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